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portrait of Professor Martin Conway

Professor Martin Conway

Director Centre for Memory & Law

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Contact Information


Visit Martin Conway

D426, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Prior to joining the Department of Psychology at City University London in 2012, Professor Conway was Head of Department and Director of Research at the Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, 2004-2011; Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Durham, 2001-2004; and Head of the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, 1994-2001.

He has researched human memory for over 32 years and has published numerous papers, books and other articles, as well as making media contributions to television, radio and newspapers, and giving many public addresses. He takes the public communication of science very seriously and in recent years has given expert advice in the courts, to law societies, to insurance companies and to medical practitioners.

Professor Conway chaired the committee that produced an important report on memory: The British Psychological Society, Research Board (2008) Guidelines on Memory and The Law: Recommendations from the Scientific Study of Human Memory. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. ISBN 978-1-85433-473-2.

Within the memory research community he is most well known for his work on autobiographical memory and memory for the experiences and knowledge of our lives, and has made two influential theoretical contributions in these areas:
• Conway, M.A., & Pleydell-Pearce, C.W. (2000) The construction of autobiographical memories in the self memory system. Psychological Review, 107, 261-288.
• Conway, M.A. (2005). Memory and the self. Journal of Memory and Language, 53(4), 594-628.

In 2008 he was awarded Docteur honoris causa, L'Universite de Liege, Belgium.


Research interests

- Autobiographical memory
- Neuroscience and neuropsychology of memory
- Memory impairments, especially following brain damage and in the elderly
- Memory enhancement
- Control of memory
- Memory and the self
- Memory and culture

PhD supervision

Professor Conway currently has three postgraduate students working with him on memory and future thinking, false memory in legal settings and enhancing memory for everyday events in the elderly.



  1. Conway, M.A. (2012). The Nature of Early Memory.


  1. Conway, M.A. (2013). Ten Things the Law and Others Should Know about Human Memory. Memory and Law ISBN 978-0-19-995013-3.

Journal articles (30)

  1. Justice, L.V., Morrison, C.M. and Conway, M.A. (2018). Intentionally fabricated autobiographical memories. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(2), pp. 449–454. doi:10.1080/17470218.2016.1254262.
  2. Hohl, K. and Conway, M.A. (2017). Memory as evidence: How normal features of victim memory lead to the attrition of rape complaints. CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 17(3), pp. 248–265. doi:10.1177/1748895816668937.
  3. Conway, M.A., Pothos, E.M. and Turk, D.J. (2016). The self-relevance system? Cognitive Neuroscience, 7(1-4), pp. 20–21. doi:10.1080/17588928.2015.1075484.
  4. Conway, M.A., Loveday, C. and Cole, S.N. (2016). The remembering–imagining system. Memory Studies, 9(3), pp. 256–265. doi:10.1177/1750698016645231.
  5. Cole, S.N., Morrison, C.M., Barak, O., Pauly-Takacs, K. and Conway, M.A. (2016). Amnesia and future thinking: Exploring the role of memory in the quantity and quality of episodic future thoughts. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(2), pp. 206–224. doi:10.1111/bjc.12094.
  6. Howe, M.L. and Conway, M.A. (2016). Expansion at Memory. Memory, 24(1), p. 1. doi:10.1080/09658211.2016.1104800.
  7. Turk, D.J., Gillespie-Smith, K., Krigolson, O.E., Havard, C., Conway, M.A. and Cunningham, S.J. (2015). Selfish learning: The impact of self-referential encoding on children's literacy attainment. LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION, 40, pp. 54–60. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.08.001.
  8. Conway, M.A. and Loveday, C. (2015). Remembering, imagining, false memories & personal meanings. Consciousness and Cognition, 33, pp. 574–581. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2014.12.002.
  9. Szőllősi, Á., Keresztes, A., Conway, M.A. and Racsmány, M. (2015). A diary after dinner: How the time of event recording influences later accessibility of diary events. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(11), pp. 2119–2124. doi:10.1080/17470218.2015.1058403.
  10. Howe, M.L. and Conway, M.A. (2015). Growth and change at Memory. Memory, 23(3), p. 317. doi:10.1080/09658211.2015.1009719.
  11. Conway, M.A., Morrison, C.M. and Justice, L.V. (2014). Memory - from zeal to fantasy. PSYCHOLOGIST, 27(10), pp. 723–724.
  12. Conway, M.A., Justice, L.V. and Morrison, C.M. (2014). Beliefs about autobiographical memory. PSYCHOLOGIST, 27(7), pp. 502–505.
  13. Wells, C., Morrison, C.M. and Conway, M.A. (2014). Adult recollections of childhood memories: What details can be recalled? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(7), pp. 1249–1261. doi:10.1080/17470218.2013.856451.
  14. Jobson, L., Moradi, A.R., Rahimi-Movaghar, V., Conway, M.A. and Dalgleish, T. (2014). Culture and the remembering of trauma. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(6), pp. 696–713. doi:10.1177/2167702614529763.
  15. Singer, J.A. and Conway, M.A. (2014). The varieties of remembered experience: Moving memory beyond the bounded self. Memory Studies, 7(3), pp. 385–392. doi:10.1177/1750698014530626.
  16. Cole, S.N., Morrison, C.M. and Conway, M.A. (2013). Episodic future thinking: Linking neuropsychological performance with episodic detail in young and old adults. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(9), pp. 1687–1706. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.758157.
  17. Howe, M.L. and Conway, M.A. (2013). Memory and the law: Insights from case studies. Memory, 21(5), pp. 545–546. doi:10.1080/09658211.2013.806045.
  18. Howe, M.L. and Conway, M.A. (2013). Introduction to Special Issue Memory and the law: Insights from case studies. MEMORY, 21(5), pp. 545–546. doi:10.1080/09658211.2013.806045.
  19. Justice, L.V., Morrison, C.M. and Conway, M.A. (2013). True and intentionally fabricated memories. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(6), pp. 1196–1203. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.734832.
  20. Conway, M.A. (2013). On being a memory expert witness: Three cases. Memory, 21(5), pp. 566–575. doi:10.1080/09658211.2013.794241.
  21. Turk, D.J., Brady-van den Bos, M., Collard, P., Gillespie-Smith, K., Conway, M.A. and Cunningham, S.J. (2013). Divided attention selectively impairs memory for self-relevant information. Memory and Cognition, 41(4), pp. 503–510. doi:10.3758/s13421-012-0279-0.
  22. Howe, M.L. and Conway, M.A. (2013). Losses and gains at Memory. Memory, 21(3), p. 285. doi:10.1080/09658211.2013.782697.
  23. Conway, M.A. and Howe, M. (2013). Memory and the law: Insights from case studies. Memory, 21.
  24. Williams, H.L., Conway, M.A. and Moulin, C.J.A. (2013). Remembering and Knowing: Using another's subjective report to make inferences about memory strength and subjective experience. Consciousness and Cognition, 22(2), pp. 572–588. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2013.03.009.
  25. Cole, S.N., Gill, N.C.L., Conway, M.A. and Morrison, C.M. (2012). Mental time travel: Effects of trial duration on episodic and semantic content. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(12), pp. 2288–2296. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.740053.
  26. Curci, A. and Conway, M.A. (2012). Playing the flashbulb memory game: A comment on Cubelli and Della Sala. Cortex, 49(1), pp. 352–355. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.004.
  27. Jacques, P.S., Conway, M.A., Lowder, M.W. and Cabeza, R. (2011). Watching My Mind Unfold versus Yours: An fMRI Study Using a Novel Camera Technology to Examine Neural Differences in Self-projection of Self versus Other Perspectives. J. Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, pp. 1275–1284.
  28. Racsmány, M., Conway, M.A. and Demeter, G. (2010). Consolidation of Episodic Memories During Sleep. Psychological Science, 21(1), pp. 80–85. doi:10.1177/0956797609354074.
  29. Racsmány, M., Conway, M.A., Garab, E.A., Cimmer, C., Janka, Z., Kurimay, T. … Szendi, I. (2008). Disrupted memory inhibition in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 101(1-3), pp. 218–224. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2008.01.002.
  30. Fotopoulou, A., Conway, M.A., Solms, M., Tyrer, S. and Kopelman, M. (2008). Self-serving confabulation in prose recall. Neuropsychologia, 46(5), pp. 1429–1441. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.12.030.

Other Activities

Other (3)

  1. Chair

    - Research Board of the British Psychological Society, 2006-2009
    - Advisory Committee to the QAA's Learning and Teaching Support Network in Psychology, 2000-2003
    - Association of Heads of Psychology Departments, 1997-2001
    - Cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society, 1996-8


    - ESRC Research Committee 2010-2012
    - ESRC Research Grants Board member 2008-2010
    - Association of Heads of Psychology Departments, 1994-2001, 2002-2004, 2006-2011
    - RAE 2008 Psychology Panel (K44), 2005-2008
    - QAA Benchmarking Group for Psychology 2000-2002
    - ESRC Commissioning Panel for Growing Older Research, 1998
    - ESRC Programme on Extending Quality of Life, 1998
    - Cognitive Section of the British Psychological Society, 1992-6


    - Fellow of the Royal College of Arts, FRAS
    - Fellow of the British Psychology Society, FBPS
    - Fellow of the Psychonomic Society, FPS
  2. SciArt collaboration

    In recent years Professor Conway has been involved in a variety of highly productive collaborations with artists, including:
    - A collaboration with the poet W. N. Herbert (University of Newcastle), since 2002, as part of the Contemporary Poetry & Contemporary Science Project funded by the SciArts consortium at the Wellcome Trust in London, and by the Arts Council of England. Based on his theory of autobiographical memory, W. N. Herbert wrote a poem titled the "The Working Self", which was published with a commentary from Professor Conway linking the poem to his work. The commentary and poem are currently in press.
    - A collaboration with the installation artist Shona Illingworth as part of a Wellcome Trust SciArt funding scheme managed by the Director of Outreach at the Policy Ethics And Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in collaboration with the Northern Print Studio and The Hatton Gallery. Shona Illingworth and Professor Conway produced an installation that expressed current scientific thinking about memory and the brain. This was part of the highly successful 'Memory and Forgetting' show that ran at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle March-May 2003 and subsequently went on tour.
    His collaboration with Shona Illingworth has continued to develop, funded by a joint Arts Council grant, which will lead to a new installation on memory, to a book, and to a new art video. Professor Conway's own contribution is to translate scientific ideas into everyday language and visual forms, which are then interpreted and developed by Shona.
  3. Media work, public communication of science


    Professor Conway has been involved in communicating current understanding and research findings within the field of human memory to the general public, via radio and television. His contributions in this area include participation in BBC Radio 4 programmes such as In Our Time, PM, Woman's Hour and Midweek, as well as BBC 2's One Show on memory (2009). He was the main scientist for Eyewitness, three one-hour programmes on BBC2 which included coverage of YNIC.

    Professor Conway was an advisor to the BBC for its summer 2006 season on memory, which consisted of a series of eight science-based programmes on Radio 4 and The Memory Experience, a 2-hour BBC1 programme shown in August 2006. His role included the design and analysis of an interactive memory website in which the public could log their own personal memories. He presented the findings of the study, which involved approximately 10,000 people, on various BBC radio programmes in 2006 and 2007.

    He is frequently consulted by the print and broadcasting media for advice concerning topics relating to human memory, including the impacts of brain damage, autobiographical memory, and learning.

    Other outreach activities

    Professor Conway has played an active role in providing accessible accounts of psychological research both for the lay public and for other professional groups via public meetings. Contributions include invited public addresses at:
    - John Damien public lecture at The University of Stirling, 2010
    - Royal Society Café Scientifique at the South Bank, 2009
    - 4th International Conference on Memory, Sydney, 2006
    - Royal Institution, 2005
    - Infant Foetal Care Society, 2004
    - Café Scientifique on memory, Newcastle 2003
    - British Advancement of Science meeting in Salford, September, 2003
    - Edinburgh Science Festival, 2003